Tag Archives: jobhunting

2014 Resolutions for your Job Search

Goals 2014During the last week of the year, many people focus on making changes in their lives.  Whether you’re unemployed, or looking for a different career, you should definitely consider your job search as an area to change.


If you don’t have a job yet, it can’t hurt to try some new strategies.  What better way to kick off a new year than with entirely new job search resolutions?

As you make your checklist of things you want to do different with your job search in 2014, consider the following:

1.  Let Go of Baggage

So many people carry negatives from the past year into their future endeavors without realizing that their baggage often prevents forward momentum and success. If something went wrong in 2013, such as you didn’t get the job you wanted or you had a less than stellar interview, let it go. Don’t think about these events as failures or allow them to undermine your self-esteem. Instead, see them as teaching moments.

Write down anything positive and useful you learned from parts of your job search that didn’t go your way and then put the negatives behind you!

2.  Redesign Your Resume

Advice about resume design hasn’t changed much over the last decade. Your resume shouldn’t be more than two pages. Ideally, it should only be one page. It shouldn’t overwhelm the reader with a lot of font styles and colors, or feature a lot of unnecessary personal details. On the other hand, it doesn’t hurt to draw attention to it with something different. For example, consider replacing black bullets with a splash of eye-catching color or add a QR code that links to an online video of you outlining your skills.

When in doubt, ask a college friend, professor or local career center to help you, or hire a professional resume writer.

3.  Update Your Wardrobe

Interviewers often associate clothing colors and styles with career and personality traits. Stick to simple and conservative options for your first meeting. Well-fitted clothing makes the best impression. If you’re on a budget, find a single style of top or dress shirt in several positive career colors that you look great in that also matches different suits you own; or use new accessories, such as a tie, scarf, pocket handkerchief or necklace, to create different looks. If you can’t afford to buy at retail prices, check out end-of-season and pre/post holiday discount rack offerings or buy at thrift stores and consignment shops.

Used clothing stores typically offer more than retro professional styles. Some receive donations of newer fashions from department stores and price them at only a few dollars.

4.  Reconnect With People

The best job search leads are usually referrals from people job seekers know. Make a list of your current and past friends, coworkers, supervisors, teachers and schoolmates and then do everything you can to reconnect with them. Typically, this method will result in at least one person who recommends an employer, knows of new job openings or has job search strategies you’ve yet to try. If you’re hesitant to reach out to people from your past by phone, break the ice by asking them to connect with you on social networks like Twitter and Facebook and job networking sites like LinkedIn and Plaxo.

Don’t forget to use this valuable resource to its fullest: Besides mentioning your job search, ask for references from people who know you well!

5.  Make Twitter a Resource

Many employers now tweet links to new job postings on Twitter. Employers do this for several reasons: First, they want to make certain that a job applicant understands the importance of social networks. Second, they consider Twitter job seekers to be people who aren’t afraid to use technology to save time and improve their lives. Lastly, they consider traditional classified’s searching as a passive style of job searching; whereas, they recognize job seeker’s who use Twitter as active searchers.

An active searcher is often considered energetic and associated with being an out-of-the-box thinker and a dedicated, hard worker.

6.  Broaden Your Search

Although you should narrow your job search to an occupation you think you’ll enjoy, you shouldn’t narrow job site options. Write down a list of things you would like and dislike in a new job and work site, including outdoor environmental conditions. Instead of sticking to a local area, consider jobs in other cities, towns or even countries that match the “likes” on your list. If you’re in a situation that requires you to remain in your local area, such as you care for elderly parents or your spouse has a great-paying local job, consider virtual employment options.

Perform online keyword searches for “freelance” or “telecommuting” jobs or check out virtual job employment sites, such as eLance, Guru.com, oDesk and iFreelance.

Do you have another job search resolution for 2014?  Share them below by commenting!

A day in the life of the jobseeker: How to make finding work your day job

Roll up Sleeves

Most job seekers have heard this saying at least once: When looking for a job, you need to make your job search your full-time occupation. This is the truth. Those who focus their full-time efforts on finding a job have a higher chance of actually landing one. How do you do that?

How they approach the day makes all the difference in the life of active job seekers.

Most business offices are open between 8am and 5pm, no matter what industry you work in. While you may be looking for a job that can have different hours, the HR department and most managers keep regular weekday hours. They are the ones you need to mimic during your job search. So, your job seeking workday is from 8 to 5 now. That means you get up, get dressed, and have breakfast before arriving at your desk at 8 to start job hunting.

For days when you do not have an interview, use these tasks to organize your day:

  • Complete any unfinished business from the day before. Write thank you notes for interviews or information meetings you had. Follow-up on any phone calls you were unable to return.
  • Search for new job openings.  You should already have accounts on common posting websites like Workopolis.com, Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com. First thing in the morning, look through the new job openings and make note of any that fit your skills and career goals.
  • Besides looking for new job openings on the sites you already look through, look for new job posting sites. Most urban and suburban areas have their own local job web sites.  Also, local newspapers and other publications offer job listings. Add these to your daily list as well.  Check the direct websites of any companies you are targetting and look for postings directly on their sites.
  • If you received any leads or referrals from friends and former co-workers, you need to follow-up on them as soon as possible. Be sure to send a thank you note to the person who gave you the lead.
  • Do basic homework on any job opening or lead you get. Get to know a bit about the company and assess how you meet their requirements and embody their values.
  • Prepare resumes and cover letters for all openings that show promise. Follow the guidelines for submission carefully. Get those submissions done as soon as possible.
  • Make contact with one or two professionals in your industry and ask for an information interview.
  • Follow-up on any hits you get on your Linked-In profile and eResumeTM.
  • If you have an interview coming up, do your homework. That means researching the company, preparing strategic answers to questions, and preparing your interview clothing.
  • Study news in your industry to keep up to date. Job seekers need to stay relevant. You can get alerts through Google or other news feeds. This news can give you hints of potential job openings at noted companies as well. If your industry has magazines or trade journals, try to keep a subscription if the budget allows or check any free content online.
  • Look for classes online or at your local college / post secondary school that will help keep your skills up to date.  Industry workshops and certification courses can help. These classes can be in any relevant topic: software, soft skills, safety standards, or industry-specific.
  • Before the end your day, check the job posting boards again. If there are new listings, those are your first priority the next morning.
  • The last thing for job seekers to do is plan the next day.

At the end of your day, straighten out your work area and walk away. Organizing your day and going at it full-time is very important in your job search. But, taking time during the evening to relax will give you the energy to start over tomorrow.